End of second term

So it is two thirds of the way through the course. The big tapestry is now on the wall.

Number One d

It has proven very difficult to photograph due to the subtle nature of the composition. (Does that sound appropriately ‘arty’.) Anyway PJ has done the best job that can be done getting an image, you have to see it and get it in the right light for it to look it’s best. The lesson learnt I think is not to be too subtle. A close up is below, this shows some of the less subtle subtleties.

Number One e

So now I have to tell you my marks for the end of term. Exactly the same as last terms. 69% for studio work and 70% for professional practice, so once again one merit and one distinction.  I am consistent if nothing else.

I have also been offered a place next year to do the postgraduate or the first year of the MFA. So I am once again scurrying around trying to find funding, as if I have nothing else to do. It is at least something I can do sitting down as a few days before I cut this tapestry off the frame I cleaned my car and when I bent over to take the sponge out of the bucket I tore a disc and have been hobbling ever since. Well, it wasn’t too bad at first and I didn’t treat it with appropriate care so a week later it went again, this time with much more pain. I Number One fam now better but still cannot stand for more than a minute or so without an awful lot of pain. This means things like warping up the big frame for the next tapestry have got put back rather. I did get PJ to come and help warp it up but the warp I wanted to use just kept breaking and all that size in the studio was no good. It was obviously not meant to be so I think there will have to be some serious weekend work done in June to get it finished by the end of year show.

I have managed to bring a piece home to work on over the Easter holiday. It is a sort of negative/skeleton of the next piece so they will be a pair. I got the workshop to make me a metal frame, so the tapestry will be woven and displayed on this frame. It is made of about 1 1/2 cm diameter mild steel and is 120cm wide and 80cm high. They assured me it would be strong enough but it has bowed in the middle now I have warped it up. I shall see how it goes or I might have to get one made out of even bigger metal rods. The guys in the workshop are amazing, it took him about 15 minutes to make. I am wondering about getting some more made so I have weaving frames to hand whenever I want them.

This seems to have turned into a long bit of writing maybe to make up for not posting for so long. So I don’t think I’ll post again til after the Easter Holidays but who knows, I might get enthusiastic and post lots of pictures of the ‘skeleton weaving’.











Cutting Off

Well, I have finally finished it and last night we had the ceremonial cutting off the tapestry, so pictures below.

Number one a

The actual snipping was a bit traumatic.







Number one c


And this is it lying on the floor.





It is now sitting in the studio with a lot of nails around the outside at 1 cm intervals and damp towels on the top to block it out. Then I will sew tape around the edges on the back and velcro along to top for hanging. (very traditional velcro!)


Still Here

So I am still weaving away. I hope to finish the big one in the next week or so.

Attached is a picture of the necklace I made on the ring linking course. I regret it does not do it justice, although as PJ says it does not have ‘wow’ factor anyway. Suffice to say I worked out that it involves 6 metres of titanium rings, that is all the rings laid edge to edge would stretch for 6 metres. They have then been hand rolled around a fine metal bar, then cut into links by hand and coloured using a blow torch and then put together again into a necklace. I did try to work out how much titanium wire was involved but it was too much like maths.

Ring linking

Needless to say it took ages as with most things I do but it is something I have wanted to do for decades so I have finally got there. There are lots of other ways you can put the links together, I think they are called ‘weaves’ which is appropriate. I have a couple of small books at home which shows different weaves and some little bags with small rings in all sorts of colours but I can’t actually find them at the moment.

I am currently trying to decide what to make for the fundraising show in May. We have to make small items to sell to raise funds to run the end of year shows. I think I might have to do some screen printed fabric which I was sort trying not to do but hey ho, it’ll keep me busy.

I am also trying to find a Jacquard loom so I can have some weaving done electronically. This is partly because it has been decided the end of year shows in West Dean and London will be on at the same time. So I have to find extra work of an appropriate quality to show. There was a loom in Falmouth but they aren’t doing anything at the moment so I have made contact with someone in Bradford and hope to get up there to sort something out soon. Unfortunately they are generally owned by colleges and they naturally give their students work first priority.

Anyway that’s enough for now.